Today is International Women's Day. A day to celebrate each other well. This week I asked women what made them feel strong. Many of the answers brought me to tears. When I asked girls ages 6- 14 year old their answers, they could give them to me quickly and succinctly. Some said, "When I am a leader." Others said, "When I help others or when I work hard for something." Today we will be shining a light on women and their answers through our instagram stories as well as on Facebook.
But one thing that intrigued me was how much longer it took for grown women to answer the question. Many had to really process. It took them a longer time to get back to me, some even said it was easier to list what made them feel weak instead.
I am not sure what happens from our young age to when we grow older. If we lose our sense of what makes us feel strong or gives us strength, if we are afraid to announce it to the world, for fear of critique. Or maybe the world has made us feel weak and not ENOUGH, because it is always saying we have to be MORE.
Last week I had a group of women in my living room. We are planning an event for young teenage moms for Mother's Day with a local non-profit, called Hope House. As we were discussing what we would like to do that day, it became very clear to me that each woman present could run their own thing, and many do. They all were go-getters, type A-ish personalities. Everyone had an opinion and wasn't afraid to voice it.
But as I sat back and watched I noticed something different about these ladies. Instead of anyone feeling jealous, or comparing, or even struggling to be heard, all of these ladies celebrated each others' gifts. They let each person share their gifts and incredible talents. No one was afraid to say what was their strength or what they could contribute. It was pretty spectacular to be part of this. Many times leaving a meeting like that, with so many of the same leader personalities would feel discouraging. People would feel stepped on, or that they couldn't get their opinion across. But that was not the case here.
It was magical to see everyone know their strengths, voice them, AND then come together for the common good to serve others.
It's amazing what can happen when we find people who are brave, compassionate, organized, leaders, go-getters, challengers, inspirers and saddle up beside those people; never comparing our gifts to theirs, but learning and leading together;always appreciating each one's strengths and letting each other shine.
What makes you feel strong?